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The Division That Will Impact the NFL Draft the Most

With potential trades looming early in round-one, this division will have the most impact on the NFL Draft.
NFL Draft Division

For different reasons, the NFL Draft will be shaped by the decisions made at the top of the draft. With two teams picking in the top six, one division will carry the most sway on the rest of the draft.

The Division That Will Shape The 2024 NFL Draft

It Starts With Washington

The Commanders are under a new regime. With new ownership and a new front office, the face of this franchise has changed. The team heads into 2024 with what many presume to be a new quarterback. Many expect the Chicago Bears to select Caleb Williams, which leaves Washington to decide between Jayden Daniels, Drake Maye, and J.J. McCarthy.

New general manager Adam Peters comes from San Francisco, where the 49ers became a powerhouse by building through the trenches. Washington moved on from a few key defenders but returns a host of talented playmakers at receiver and running back. Peters made a handful of signings to bolster the offensive line and depth on defense. Now, the Commanders must nail their quarterback selection at pick number two.

Washington’s decision impacts the rest of the draft because more teams appear to be higher on Daniels than Maye. If New England, the team picking after Washington, doesn’t love Maye, it creates a wide range of possibilities in the draft. With rumors that teams like the Raiders, Vikings, and the New York Giants could be aggressive in moving up, a trade at pick three would shake up the draft. The domino effect created by New England trading out could set up for a crazy first round.

Giant Moves

Speaking of the Giants, New York remains one of the draft’s biggest mysteries. With a top-six pick, the Giants are within striking distance of trading up for a top quarterback. Given their signing of Drew Lock in free agency, the team appears set to move on from Jones. A trade-up for a top quarterback would send massive ripples around the NFL and make the NFC East the most impactful division in the draft.

Drake Maye would be an ideal fit for the team, given the perception that he needs time to develop on the bench. If the Giants decide to stick at pick number six and select a top receiver, it could also cause one of the best edge defenders to slide down the board. This would impact the rest of the draft since many teams need help along the edge. New York holds a significant amount of sway in the draft, and it comes down to how they handle their quarterback situation.

The Eagles Could Again Be Bold

Philadelphia is one of the top contenders in the NFC. They have shown an ability to withstand attrition through creative free-agency signings and savvy trades. But the rest of the conference is catching up on the Eagles, which means Howie Roseman could make another bold move in the draft to bolster this offense. Trading up for a blue-chip talent could take this team over the top, but it will require significant draft capital.

Even though they don’t pick until 22nd overall, the Eagles possess two second-round picks. One of those day-two picks could be packaged with their first-round pick to move into the top ten for an offensive playmaker if he starts to slide. Rome Odunze is one player that could fall due to the demand for quarterbacks and offensive tackles at the top of the draft. If that happens, the Eagles could again be bold in the draft.

Big Decisions in Dallas

The Cowboys enter the 2024 season with a lot at stake. If the team fails to advance in the playoffs again, Dallas could move on from Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy. With the 25th overall pick, the Cowboys could be out of range for a top playmaker in the draft. But Jerry Jones has commented about the team being “all-in” in 2024. That means nothing is off the table for the Cowboys. If Dallas gets aggressive on day-one, the NFC East could have the biggest impact on the NFL Draft.

Main Photo: Trevor Ruszkowski – USA Today Sports


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